Please see this sentence "Do you like eating fruits?".

If we stress the in "eating", then do we link k to so that it can become ..../laɪ'kiːtɪŋ/....?

I guess that we don't link k to , but we will make a short stop or pause at k for a few milliseconds so that we can have enough energy to stress the word "eating". So, it will be like ..../laɪk (pause here for a few milliseconds) 'iːtɪŋ/....

But, I often hear the linkage /laɪkit/ in "Do you like it?". So I guess that if we don't stress "it" then we can link "like" to "it".

When do and don't we link 2 adjacent words in pronunciation?

What is the rule of linking in English pronunciation?

  • 1
    For me, in "like it," the two words are linked, but the /k/ sound stays at the end of the first syllable rather than moving to the start of the second.
    – herisson
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 4:52
  • And the link is even more pronounced in the past , laɪ'ktiːtɪŋ/...
    – Hugh
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 6:51
  • I believe that the question is too broad, and writing a detailed answer is not an easy task at the best of times. You really should hear normal-speed speech, listen to podcasts, watch DVDs, watch YouTube presentation videos etc.. Don't forget that "Do you" is usually linked, it's a sort of "d'ya"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 19:35
  • 1
    Whenever you talk at normal or above-normal speed you "link" the words somehow. Mostly this happens totally unconsciously, based on how the mouth must move between phonemes. (I strongly advise against trying to "force" such linkage, as that will just develop bad habits. Let it happen naturally.) Because some movements are easy, not all word pairs are "linked", but probably at least 2/3rds are, on average.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


From my knowledge of English as non-native speaker, I'd say that any two adjacent words in a phrase/sentence are usually linked together in normal speech (and almost always linked in fast speech) unless:

  • you want to put special emphasis on the latter word (e.g. if I wanted to emphasize the word eating in your sentence -- Do you like EATING fruits? --, I wouldn't link like and eating together; but I'd link them if pronounced normally without the emphasis)
  • a pause must separate both words (e.g. indicated by a dash)
  • you're speaking very slowly and clearly

When you link words, I think it's essential not to pause at all, otherwise it's not linking in my opinion.

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